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Black Workers RememberAn Oral History of Segregation, Unionism, and the Freedom Struggle$
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Michael Keith Honey

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780520217744

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520217744.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 25 July 2021

The Fate of the Black Working Class

The Fate of the Black Working Class

The Global Economy, Rachism, and Union Organizing

(p.322) 8 The Fate of the Black Working Class
Black Workers Remember


University of California Press

This chapter explains that by the mid-1970s, black workers in a core of unionized factory jobs had torn down most Jim Crow barriers within their workplaces and unionism after decades of painful effort. Just as their labors began to really bear fruit in the form of family-wage jobs distributed on an equal basis, factory closings began to undercut all they had fought to achieve. The dawning progress of black industrial workers made the deindustrialization of parts of North America seem all the more disastrous. While public sector unions expanded, the shutdown of factories, many of them still profitable, ripped industrial unions to shreds during and after the 1980s. As companies moved production beyond U.S. borders or simply liquidated holdings to turn over higher profits, they tore up the foundations for probably the single largest group of stable wage-earning families in the black community.

Keywords:   black community, deindustrialization, Jim Crow, family-wage jobs, black industrial workers

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